Training Effect

Functional Aging

Find Out More
Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087
  1. Training Effect

    What is it?

    The training effect refers to the amount of effort an athlete must exert to receive fitness benefits from an exercise. Kenneth H. Cooper coined the phrase in the 1960s while working for the United States Air Force. The basics of the training effect is that experienced athletes will have to undergo a more strenuous workout to receive the same benefits that a less-experienced athlete would receive from a less-intense workout. References to the training effect are most common in discussions of cardiovascular exercise, but the term also has relevance to weight training.

    The concept of the training effect depends upon a few key points. When an athlete performs aerobic exercises, the heart and respiratory muscles become stronger. Also, the athlete’s blood pressure lowers, and the number of blood cells increases. The body becomes more efficient and exercises that would have been very strenuous become easier. The exercise’s ability to improve the athlete’s overall fitness decreases.

    Switch It Up

    As a result of the training effect, athletes who want to improve their performance cannot do the same workouts. If they do, they will find that, over time, their overall fitness level will start to plateau. To continue to improve their fitness levels, then, athletes must perform increasingly difficult exercises.

    When Cooper discovered the training effect in the 1960s, it changed the approach that most athletes took to measuring exercise. Rather than measuring the exercises performed, trainers began to measure traits of the athletes while performing the exercises. The Cooper test was one of the first ways that trainers did this, but trainers have found better ways of measuring aerobic performance since Cooper introduced his test in the 1960s. Measuring an athlete’s maximal oxygen consumption, or VO2 Max, for instance, allows trainers to determine how much aerobic activity an athlete needs to perform in order to improve his or her overall fitness.


    While most of the measurements that resulted from Cooper’s research were specific to aerobic exercises, the basic concept of the training effect is relevant to weight training as well. As an athlete performs lifts, they increase their total muscle tissue and increase the efficiency of the nervous system that controls the muscles. Subsequently, the athlete lifts more weight, and the previous workouts will not provide the same benefit it used to. This training effect results in an athlete needing to continually increase either the amount of weight or the number of repetitions in order to continue to increase his or her muscular fitness.

    You can find our source here.


    “Like” us on Facebook and receive a 1/2 OFF Coupon for a Body Composition and Fitness Analysis!

  2. Leave a Reply

Get Started
Workout Of The Day
Your Personal Best Location
Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087